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Owners of Elizabethan manor house move entire home up Sudbury hill to new location

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owners of elizabethan manor house move entire home up sudbury hill to new location

Moving house is a stressful business. 

There’s all that packing up and agonising over what to take, what to throw out, what to give away; then there’s the settling into a new home. 

But for John and Angela Hodge there was the additional heartache of knowing that they didn’t really want to leave Ballingdon Hall, their 16th-century Grade II-listed Elizabethan manor house, in the first place. 

So, in the winter of 1972, they decided to keep it — but move the entire building half a mile up a hill in Sudbury, Suffolk, where they could enjoy commanding views over the Stour Valley and live happily ever after. 

John and Angela Hodge decided they simply could not leave their 16th-century Grade II-listed Elizabethan manor house, and so moved it using extraordinary measures

John and Angela Hodge decided they simply could not leave their 16th-century Grade II-listed Elizabethan manor house, and so moved it using extraordinary measures

John and Angela Hodge decided they simply could not leave their 16th-century Grade II-listed Elizabethan manor house, and so moved it using extraordinary measures

It was an outrageous fantasy and one that made headlines around the world, with many people thinking it was an impossible task. But the Hodges, who acquired the property in 1959, proved that there were mobile homes — and then there was Ballingdon Hall. 

‘It was my idea and everyone thought I had gone mad — even my husband,’ says Mrs Hodge, 85. ‘But I loved the house so much and was prepared to do anything to stay in it.’ 

What prompted moving the whole caboodle was an encroaching modern housing estate on one side of the drive and expanding industrial warehouses on the other, near the busy A131 which was being improved. 

The inspiration Mrs Hodges drew upon for her audacious plan was Abu Simbel, one of the great ancient sites of Egypt. For 3,000 years, Abu Simbel’s two temples sat on the west bank of the River Nile. 

But, in a remarkable feat of engineering, the entire complex was dismantled and rebuilt on a higher hill to make way for the rising waters of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. 

‘I thought to myself “if they can do that at Abu Simbel they can do it in Sudbury,” but when we approached various heritage bodies they all said we could not take down the house piece by piece and rebuild it because it was too fragile. The only way was to move the whole thing as it was. 

The stunning property now sits half a mile away up a hill in Sudbury, Suffolk, where they could enjoy commanding views over the Stour Valley

The stunning property now sits half a mile away up a hill in Sudbury, Suffolk, where they could enjoy commanding views over the Stour Valley

The stunning property now sits half a mile away up a hill in Sudbury, Suffolk, where they could enjoy commanding views over the Stour Valley

Pynford (now Abbey Pynford), a firm of engineers, took on the project and said bravely that the job could be completed in a week. 

Some promise. In fact, it took almost a year — and, like most building works, cost double what was quoted, amid all kinds of legal wrangling. 

Built by Sir Thomas Eden, a wool baron and local High Sheriff, in 1593 — the year in which Britain was threatened by a Spanish invasion — Ballingdon Hall used to be five times bigger than it was in 1972. 

Even so, it was a considerable size and weight, albeit made lighter in readiness for the move by removing five huge chimneys, the inglenook fireplaces and some interior walls, all of which were rebuilt once the house was settled in its new position.

First, Pynford cut a trench all around the building, slid wooden beams under the house and started to lift the whole structure by 12-15 ft using hydraulic lifts. 

Then, supported by two massive Bailey bridges (portable bridges used in World War II), the 170-ton timber house was rolled on to 26 metal wheels. Two huge caterpillar tractors were deployed to do the heavy dragging when everything was in place and the time was right. 

The big day came on Leap Day, February 1972. But leap it did not. In fact, it moved just a few inches for the first few days. 

‘I was very nervous and began to wonder if we were doing the right thing, especially because it had to be dragged in an S shape to minimise the gradient of the hill,’ says Mrs Hodge.

‘And people came up and asked what would happen if it started to slide back down.’ Word spread about the extraordinary spectacle unfolding on the Suffolk/Essex border. 

Newspapers estimated that 50,000 turned up to watch during over the year. ‘One weekend, we actually charged people sixpence (2½p) to come into the grounds and see what was happening. 

‘There were loudspeakers telling people not to get too close. If one of the wires had snapped it would have been catastrophic’. 

The money raised — around £3,000 — went towards the restoration of the 15th-century tower of the local All Saints Church. Moving the house proved to be wise. One night, there was a fearful storm, which felled a giant oak next to the house’s old position. 

‘If we had been there, the tree would have destroyed the house and killed us and our then two young children,’ says Mrs Hodge. ‘That told me it was meant to be.’

Eventually, Ballingdon Hall was lowered gingerly on to its 20thcentury foundations exactly in the position that the Hodges wanted. The beams were removed one by one, with new trenches built in a reverse process of what happened a year earlier. 

It took a further five years to reinstate the chimneys, construct new plinths around the bay windows and restore the fire places and interiors. That was when the wrangling started, over the cost. 

Mrs Hodges doesn’t recall the exact figures. ‘It was expensive, let’s leave it at that.’ At one point, Pynford sued Mr Hodges, a solicitor, for £6,000 in unpaid bills, while he accused the firm of causing more than £75,000 worth of damage. 

Mrs Hodge’s husband died last year and she is now finding the 25-room, three-storey house too big. So, reluctantly, she has put it on the market for £1.9 million and hopes to move somewhere more manageable. 

‘I have been so happy here and have always realised that we are just custodians of the houses we live in. It’s time now to pass the house on.’ 

There’s an element of keeping the sale in the family. The Colchester estate agents tasked with selling the property is run by Nicholas Percival, who is married to the daughter of Mrs Hodges. 

‘I never lived there myself, but you would certainly never know that it’s only occupied its spot for less than 50 years,’ says Mr Percival. And, if desperate, he could always tempt buyers with the slogan — Britain’s ultimate mobile home.

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Emmy Awards 2020: Hugh Jackman is gracious in defeat

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emmy awards 2020 hugh jackman is gracious in defeat

Hugh Jackman has long been considered the ‘Nicest Guy in Hollywood’.

And the 51-year-old Australian actor lived up to his reputation on Sunday, during the first-ever virtual Emmy Awards ceremony.

In a live stream from his New York home, Hugh pumped his fist in the air and cheered on Mark Ruffalo, after losing out to the American actor in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Category. 

Emmy Awards 2020: 'The Nicest Guy in Hollywood' Hugh Jackman (pictured with wife Deborra-Lee Furness) was gracious in defeat as he lost to Mark Ruffalo for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Category on Sunday

Emmy Awards 2020: 'The Nicest Guy in Hollywood' Hugh Jackman (pictured with wife Deborra-Lee Furness) was gracious in defeat as he lost to Mark Ruffalo for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Category on Sunday

Emmy Awards 2020: ‘The Nicest Guy in Hollywood’ Hugh Jackman (pictured with wife Deborra-Lee Furness) was gracious in defeat as he lost to Mark Ruffalo for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Category on Sunday 

Hugh, who appeared on screen alongside wife Deborra-Lee Furness, was nominated for his role as a corrupt school superintendent in HBO’s drama Bad Education.

As it was announced Mark, 52, had won the category for his portrayal of brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey in TV mini-series I Know This Much Is True, Hugh was gracious in defeat.

Sporting a crisp white dress shirt, a beaming Hugh cheered on Mark, pumping his fist in the air. 

Winner: As it was announced Mark (pictured with wife Sunrise Coigney), 52, had won the category for his portrayal of brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey in TV mini-series I Know This Much Is True, Hugh was gracious in defeat

Winner: As it was announced Mark (pictured with wife Sunrise Coigney), 52, had won the category for his portrayal of brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey in TV mini-series I Know This Much Is True, Hugh was gracious in defeat

Winner: As it was announced Mark (pictured with wife Sunrise Coigney), 52, had won the category for his portrayal of brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey in TV mini-series I Know This Much Is True, Hugh was gracious in defeat 

What a gentleman: Sporting a crisp white dress shirt, a beaming Hugh, 51, cheered on Mark, pumping his fist in the air

What a gentleman: Sporting a crisp white dress shirt, a beaming Hugh, 51, cheered on Mark, pumping his fist in the air

What a gentleman: Sporting a crisp white dress shirt, a beaming Hugh, 51, cheered on Mark, pumping his fist in the air 

Hugh plays Frank Tassone in the HBO drama Bad Education, which also airs on Foxtel in Australia.

Frank hoodwinked Long Island’s Roslyn High School, conning his way to millions to fund his extravagant lifestyle, before being sent to prison in 2006 for larceny.  

Hugh’s performance quickly received rave reviews, with USA TODAY branding it ‘great acting’, while Decider called it an ‘Oscar-worthy role’. 

Unique times: The Greatest Showman star watched the first-ever virtual Emmy Awards ceremony from his New York home (pictured)

Unique times: The Greatest Showman star watched the first-ever virtual Emmy Awards ceremony from his New York home (pictured)

Unique times: The Greatest Showman star watched the first-ever virtual Emmy Awards ceremony from his New York home (pictured) 

Nominated role: Hugh plays Frank Tassone, a corrupt superintendent who hoodwinked Long Island's Roslyn High School, before being sent to prison in 2006 for larceny

Nominated role: Hugh plays Frank Tassone, a corrupt superintendent who hoodwinked Long Island's Roslyn High School, before being sent to prison in 2006 for larceny

Nominated role: Hugh plays Frank Tassone, a corrupt superintendent who hoodwinked Long Island’s Roslyn High School, before being sent to prison in 2006 for larceny

In an interview with Variety in April, Hugh described the opportunity to portray the real-life school superintendent as ‘fascinating’.    

‘The role itself was something different from what I’ve done. I liked the idea of someone who is super successful, very, very good at what he did, beloved by the community – and fell down this slippery path,’ he said. 

Hugh also described playing the villain as ‘delicious’ in an interview with Collider.

‘As an actor, it just had so much to play with, and so many things that I’ve never really had the opportunity to play with. He’s seemingly very charming, but also just a viper… Those things, I just found really exciting to play,’ he said.  

Opportunity of a lifetime: In an interview with Variety in April, Hugh described the chance to portray the real-life school superintendent as 'fascinating'

Opportunity of a lifetime: In an interview with Variety in April, Hugh described the chance to portray the real-life school superintendent as 'fascinating'

Opportunity of a lifetime: In an interview with Variety in April, Hugh described the chance to portray the real-life school superintendent as ‘fascinating’

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Private details of almost 20,000 Australian university students leaked online in massive data breach

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private details of almost 20000 australian university students leaked online in massive data breach

Personal information belonging to almost 20,000 University of Tasmania students was mistakenly made public for more than five months due to security settings being configured incorrectly.

Affected students were on Monday informed of the breach, which made their data available to anyone with a UTAS email address from late February to August 11.

UTAS says analysis of the files has revealed a ‘number of users’ with university emails have accessed the information.  

About 20,000 pupils of the University of Tasmania (pictured) were on Monday informed their personal details were mistakenly made public for more than five months

About 20,000 pupils of the University of Tasmania (pictured) were on Monday informed their personal details were mistakenly made public for more than five months

About 20,000 pupils of the University of Tasmania (pictured) were on Monday informed their personal details were mistakenly made public for more than five months

The data, which contains personally identifiable information, is used to inform how the university supports students in their studies, UTAS says.

Bank account details were not part of the data breach.

‘Security settings on shared files were unintentionally configured incorrectly, which made the information visible and accessible to unauthorised users,’ the university said in a statement.

The university says it became aware of the breach on August 11 and has engaged independent experts to assist. 

The breach was due to security settings being configured incorrectly - allowing people with a UTAS email to access the information from February to August 11. Picture: A woman studying

The breach was due to security settings being configured incorrectly - allowing people with a UTAS email to access the information from February to August 11. Picture: A woman studying

The breach was due to security settings being configured incorrectly – allowing people with a UTAS email to access the information from February to August 11. Picture: A woman studying

The information made publicly available contained personally identifiable data, used to inform how the university supports the students in their studies. Bank account details were, however, not part of the data breach. Pictured: University students studying

The information made publicly available contained personally identifiable data, used to inform how the university supports the students in their studies. Bank account details were, however, not part of the data breach. Pictured: University students studying

The information made publicly available contained personally identifiable data, used to inform how the university supports the students in their studies. Bank account details were, however, not part of the data breach. Pictured: University students studying

‘I sincerely apologise to all students who have been affected by this incident,’ University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Rufus Black said.

‘We have undertaken a thorough review of how this information became accessible and took immediate steps to ensure it is secure.’

UTAS is in the process of contacting people who accessed the data and has ‘sought assurance’ that the files, or screenshots or shared copies of the files, have been permanently deleted.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black added every student affected was on Monday contacted 'to explain what happened, to apologise, and to offer support.' He said the university (pictured) engaged independent experts to assist in securing the information

Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black added every student affected was on Monday contacted 'to explain what happened, to apologise, and to offer support.' He said the university (pictured) engaged independent experts to assist in securing the information

Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black added every student affected was on Monday contacted ‘to explain what happened, to apologise, and to offer support.’ He said the university (pictured) engaged independent experts to assist in securing the information

Information belonging to the 19,900 students was made public through Microsoft Office365 platform SharePoint, which is used to store, share and access files. 

Access privileges were incorrectly configured on an Office365 application, which displays content to users based on those privileges.

‘There is no evidence this data breach was a result of malicious activity,’ UTAS said.

‘The system has now been correctly configured.’

UTAS has set up a hotline for students with questions or concerns.

The university has since established a dedicated support line ¿ 1800 019 897 ¿ to assist students with any questions or concerns about the incident or their information. Pictured: A university student studying

The university has since established a dedicated support line ¿ 1800 019 897 ¿ to assist students with any questions or concerns about the incident or their information. Pictured: A university student studying

The university has since established a dedicated support line – 1800 019 897 – to assist students with any questions or concerns about the incident or their information. Pictured: A university student studying

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Scott Morrison slams ad attacking huge new income tax cuts

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scott morrison slams ad attacking huge new income tax cuts
Scott Morrison will try to get the economy back on track with the October 6 budget

Scott Morrison will try to get the economy back on track with the October 6 budget

Scott Morrison will try to get the economy back on track with the October 6 budget

Scott Morrison has hit back at an advert slamming potential tax cuts for millions of Australians. 

The October 6 budget is expected to bring forward tax cuts that were due in 2022, meaning middle and low income earners will be able to keep more of their money.

A TV advert produced by left-wing think tank The Australia Institute says the cuts risk damaging public services and won’t provide the stimulus the economy needs to recover from the coronavirus-caused recession.

A government spokesman criticised the campaign, telling Daily Mail Australia: ‘At a time of recession the Australia Institute want to take money out of people’s pockets.

‘We’re always focused on how we can give it back to them and lower taxes.

‘The Australia Institute and the Labor Party have never met a tax increase they didn’t like.’ 

The campaign is backed by 40 prominent Australians – including two former Reserve Bank officials, a former Liberal Party leader and the head of the welfare lobby group ACOSS. 

‘Cutting taxes for already wealthy Australians will undermine the long-term strength of our public services, like healthcare and education, while doing very little to stimulate economic growth,’ said Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute.

‘Tax is an investment in our society. Those calling for tax cuts today will be calling for service cuts in the future.’

Institute research released in recent weeks suggests the cuts will benefit high income earners, who are more likely to save rather than spend the extra cash.

‘We’ll need substantial stimulus for an extended period,’ former Reserve Bank deputy governor Stephen Grenville said.

‘Cutting top-rate income tax would be a weak stimulus which undermines the equitable and progressive tax structure we’ll need when the COVID crisis is over.’

Former federal Liberal leader John Hewson said tax cuts will not be good for the Coalition’s electoral hopes in the long run.

HOW MUCH LESS TAX WOULD YOU PAY IF CHANGES ARE BROUGHT FORWARD?
Income  Reduction compared to 2017/18 
$30,000 $255 
$40,000  $580 
$50,000 $1,080 
$60,000  $1,080 
$70,000  $1,080 
$80,000  $1,080 
$90,000  $1,215 
$100,000  $1,665 
$110,000  $2,115 
$120,000+  $2,565 
Source: aph.gov.au   

‘They increase inequality and fail to ensure job security and increasing wages with our economy still struggling to exit recession,’ Dr Hewson said.

The cuts would increase the upper threshold for the 32.5 per cent marginal tax rate from $90,000 to $120,000 and increase the upper threshold for the 19 per cent rate from $41,000 to $45,000.         

In July Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he was ‘looking at the timing of tax cuts’ because they ‘boost aggregate demand, boost consumption, put more money into people’s pockets.’

Some tax experts believe Mr Frydenberg would get more bang from taxpayers’ bucks by targeting business initiatives.

BDO tax partner Mark Molesworth said personal tax cuts alone will not be enough to drive a worthwhile stimulus response in the face of the first recession since the early 1990s.

‘More Australians are being frugal with their money so a tax cut will not inspire a spending spree even with Christmas approaching,’ Mr Molesworth said on Monday.

‘To encourage consumer spending it would be better to look at business investment incentives.’

These could take the form of an investment allowance, which would provide an incentive to buy assets and expand business operations.

He also suggested an employee headcount rebate, which would be paid as a tax benefit in cash per new full-time employee created by a business.

The federal budget on 6 October will contain a series of measures to get the economy back on track after coronavirus restrictions hammered the economy.

One option being considered is to encourage small and medium businesses to hire new workers by paying a chunk of their wages, government sources told The Australian.

This would be different to the JobKeeper scheme which pays companies to keep existing employees if they suffer a large hit to their revenue.

The government is also tipped to allocate up to $10billion to the states for infrastructure spending. 

The AFR reported the cash could be dished out on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis, meaning states would need to prove they are spending it quickly to qualify for more. 

A spokesman for the Prime Minister told Daily Mail Australia: ‘We’re not engaging in budget speculation.’ 

The $1,500-a-fortnight JobKeeper payments are being reduced to $1,200 from 27 September and to $1,000 from January for full-time workers.

Mr Morrison on Sunday told the ABC that other measures will be introduced to complement the scheme as it is wound back.

The government is reportedly considering wage subsidies to drive hiring. Pictured: An electrician at work

The government is reportedly considering wage subsidies to drive hiring. Pictured: An electrician at work

The government is reportedly considering wage subsidies to drive hiring. Pictured: An electrician at work

‘What Treasury says is that we need to boost aggregate demand in our economy and the full suite of measures you have as a government need to do that job and that’s what the budget will do,’ he said.

‘And so you don’t have to hold on to every measure forever. There are other measures that come in and pick up from where others left off. We are transitioning JobKeeper, it’s important to do that. We always said it was not something that would be around forever.

‘But there are other programs and the Treasurer will go into greater detail about that obviously in the budget, which are dealing with the here and now, but rebuilding our economy and then building it for the future so we can go into a decade of prosperity.’         

The jobless rate unexpectedly fell from 7.5 per cent in July to 6.8 per cent in August, bucking widespread predictions of a slight rise.

Roughly 111,000 people gained employment in August, the third month of exceptionally strong results.

Over half the massive jobs losses in April and May have been recovered.

However such strength masked a 42,400 drop in employment numbers in Victoria, where lockdowns remain.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, a Victorian MP, said businesses in the state were still hard hit by lockdowns.

‘I’m hoping and the prime minister is hoping those restrictions can be eased as quickly as it is COVID-safe to do so,’ he said.

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